Friends of NRA Banquet – The annual dinner of the Pioneer Valley chapter of the Friends of NRA will be held May 9 at the Castle of the Knights in Chicopee. The event will feature a buffet dinner, along with door prizes, raffles and auctions to raise funds for youth education, conservation and range development. HRC has received grants to fund its junior rifle team and several range improvement projects. Tickets are $40 and available from George Apgar. Doors open at 4:30.
WMPL Banquet – The annual awards banquet of the Western Mass. Pistol League is scheduled for April 25 at the Ludlow Country Club. It is open to all. Tickets are $20 for league participants and $23 for guests. Payment must be in the form of checks made out to Carol Sheehan and given to HRC team captains Ron Mehlhorn or Pete Galenski by April 3.
Dues to Increase – To fund the replacement of the indoor range, the board of directors has voted to raise the general membership fee to $100 per year, the first increase in more than ten years. New members will pay the fee as they join throughout 2014, and renewing members will pay at the new rate in 2015. Current fees for seniors, spouses and juniors will remain in effect.
High Power Rifle Clinic – A day of instruction and competition in NRA High Power rifle shooting will be held May 3. Participants receive instruction in the care and feeding of the M1 and similar rifles in the morning and fire the NRA 3-position match in the afternoon at the 100-yard range. Ammunition is provided and loaner rifles are available by prior arrangement. Fee is $75, and Dave Wallis is in charge. Participants will be eligible to purchase M1 and other rifles, ammunition and other items from the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Holyoke Police Qualifying – The Holyoke Police Department has begun its annual qualification sessions Tuesday mornings at the indoor range. Under a contract with the club, the PD has exclusive use of the range during training and qualifications.
South Hadley Police Qualifying – The club has also signed a contract with the South Hadley PD to use the indoor range for its qualification sessions. SHPD will be qualifying on Wednesday mornings, but with only 28 officers, will only need the range for a few mornings. HRC members who arrive to find either police department using the range should ask the officer in charge when the range will be free. Outdoor ranges are not affected.
Indoor Range Damage – The use of steel-core ammunition continues to damage the backstop plates at the indoor range. The offending ammunition is imported under various labels, and appears similar to jacketed lead American-made ammo. The foreign ammunition has a steel core, which can be detected by passing it over the magnets installed at each port. ALL cartridges being fired on the indoor range must be tested against the magnets, and those with steel components may only be used outdoors.
RSO Training – HRC will host a training session for new NRA Range Safety Officers on April 12 at the club. Fees are $75 for non-members and $50 for club members.
100th Anniversary – The 100th anniversary committee has begun holding planning meetings. Anyone who wishes to be part of the committee should contact club vice president Joe Knapik, chairman of the event. The event will be held Oct. 25 at the Castle of Knights in Fairview. Committee members are now soliciting advertising for the dinner program and selling tickets for the dinner. Tickets are $40.
New Members – Joining the club at the March meeting were Patrick and Laurie Nulph of Southampton, Greg and Kimberly Oravec and Nicea Faggioli, all of Holyoke, Larry Anderson of Springfield, Tom Geneczko of South Hadley, Steven St. Marie of Westhampton, Henry Orszulak of West Springfield, and Ken Frisbe and James Hillebrand, both of Chicopee.
HRC Hats and Patches – Hats and jacket patches embroidered with the club’s logo are now available for sale from Membership Secretary Bill Burgess.
The club encourages its members to join the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners’ Action League, the state rifle and pistol association. Ed Pelland is the club recruiter for both organizations, and handles membership applications and renewals for both. Club members can save $10 per year by paying for their NRA memberships through Ed for $25, rather than the standard $35. Ed receives NRA points for each renewal or new membership, which he applies to NRA memberships for the junior members of the club.
Fun Shoots – Dave Sparko conducts fun shoots on Tuesday evenings at the club. Competitors shoot .22 pistols at steel plates and a “Dueling Tree” of spinning targets, trying to move all of the discs to the opponent’s side of the tree. Match schedules will be posted on the club’s website and calendar.
Practical matches – The club holds practical matches on the fourth Saturday of the month. New shooters should arrive at 9 a.m. for safety instruction. Participants should bring a centerfire pistol or revolver and 100 rounds of ammunition, extra magazines and speedloaders, a holster, which is not a shoulder or crossdraw model, a baseball cap and eye and ear protection. Chris Fila is in charge. Volunteers are needed to set up the stages, and should arrive at 8 a.m.
Pistol Course – Holyoke Revolver Club conducts an NRA Basic Pistol course every month on the third Saturday. Successful participants receive both the NRA certificate and the Massachusetts State Police certificate required for firearms licenses. To register or for more information visit www.holyokerevolverclub.com. The club is now listed on the NRA website and will appear on a zip code search for NRA instruction. The club has more than a dozen NRA-Certified Pistol Instructors and more than two dozen NRA-Certified Range Safety Officers. Volunteers are needed to monitor the firing line from around 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m Tim Grace is chief instructor.
Shooting 101 – The firearm familiarization course for new shooters has been reorganized and will be offered on certain evenings. Rich Asselin is in charge, and is looking for instructors and RSO’s to assist. For more information and to register for Shooting 101 click here.
50/50 Drawing – Dennis Kahelalis won $36.50 in the 50/50 drawing at the March meeting. Bob St. Martin and Matthew Bernard’s names were also drawn, but they were not at the meeting.
100-Yard Outdoors: The main backstop is at 100 yards, and a smaller berm is located at 50 yards on the rifle range. These are the only safe impact areas. Lately there have been shots fired at targets on the ground short of the two berms. This is a dangerous practice that may cause ricochets, and is not permitted on either of the outdoor ranges.
New Practical Range – The club is planning to build a new range for outdoor practical matches. Several sites on the club property are under consideration, and discussions are under way with the city regarding permits and environmental regulations.
Final Outdoor Message – The board of directors of The Outdoor Message has announced that it will cease publication. The Message has been the publisher of the Holyoke Revolver Club’s newsletter for more than 30 years, and the club extends its thanks and best wishes to the editor and staff for the valuable service they’ve provided through the years.
The HRC news will continue to be published here on the club’s web site and paper copies will be available at the club.